Sunday, November 16, 2014
The Humiliation of Tony Abbott
Now, following the G20 pow wow in Australia, we may have come away with the "Brisbane Rule." This applies in the situation where the host is a total dick. It operates to override the host's prerogative on setting the summit agenda. It's sort of like saying, "Look, we didn't come here to put up with childishness."
Case in point. Tony Abbott, inveterate fossil fueler that he is, struggled and strained mightily to thwart any discussion of climate change. He resisted every request to place climate change on his agenda. He had the backing of Canada and Saudi Arabia. Three peas in a pod. Nice one, Canada.
And so the grownups at the summit introduced the Brisbane Rule and discussed the climate change issue anyway. To avoid completely humiliating their host they agreed their discussions would be behind closed doors. All of this set the tone for the leaders' communique, a process one official described as "trench warfare."
Over the objections of Australia, Canada and Saudi Arabia, the communique calls for phasing out of "inefficient fossil fuel subsidies."
What a novel idea, "polluter pays." Yet even the paltry amount proposed for the Green Climate Fund sends miscreants like Abbott and Harper reeling.
It's a safe bet that Tony Abbott wasn't sad to see his visitors leave Australia. The writing's on the wall. It's not just environmentalists and the young any more. Now even their peers see Abbott and Harper as pariahs. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Simpson writes that, for Harper, international opprobrium is just water off his oily plumage.